The Department of Health has opened its consultation into fixed recoverable costs (FRC) for clinical negligence claims. Views are sought on the following topics:

  • whether FRC should be introduced on a mandatory basis
  • the method of introduction
  • how FRC rates should be calculated
  • how expert witness costs should be treated within the proposed FRC scheme
  • the concept of a single joint expert
  • the draft Protocol and Civil Procedure Rules, supporting early exchange of evidence, and behavioural change
  • whether there is further evidence the Government should consider

The Government seeks views on the preferred option of introducing a mandatory FRC scheme for clinical negligence claims above £1,000 and up to £25,000 in the fast track or multi track, which will be implemented through revised Civil Procedure Rules. The Rules will support timely resolution, which underpins fast and effective learning of lessons. Funding will be re-directed from litigation to front-line NHS services with the ultimate aim of improving patient safety. FRC will directly target the disproportionality between damages and claimant recoverable costs.

Mike McKenna will be involved in discussions as chair of FOIL’s Clinical Negligence Sector Focus Group. Please direct any comments you may wish to put forward to him.

The consultation closes on 1 May 2017. Further details can be found on the Department of Health’s website.